It’s the movie that would not die! Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote has seemed to be nothing more than the director tilting at windmills for a very long time. Back in 2000, Gilliam actually began filming the semi-adaptation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote, but the project rapidly fell apart in the wake of natural disaster, an over-ambitious production concept, scheduling conflicts with Johnny Depp, and the illness of lead Jean Rochefort. It was even the subject of a 2002 documentary Lost in La Mancha.
But Gilliam has not given up hope; indeed, he’s been trying to relaunch the project for almost a decade now. Now, it looks like he might actually get the film off the ground, this time with John Hurt in the Quixote role and, possibly, Skins star Jack O’Connell in the role vacated by Depp.
In a rumor fueled by John Hurt himself, O’Connell is currently in talks to star in The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which hopes to shoot in autumn next year. While it appears that O’Connell will be replacing Depp, the nature of the film has changed somewhat since 2000. Now the story is set in the modern period, featuring a main character who made a movie about Don Quixote and caused a lot of trouble for the world. Gilliam has said that he’s incorporating his life into the film, and that “it’s more about how movies can damage people.”
If you do not know who Jack O’Connell is, you soon will. The star is on the rise, from his initial performance on the British TV show Skins to his role in 300: Rise of an Empire. A part in a Terry Gilliam film could make him a very recognizable presence indeed.
Right now The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is still in pre-production, but if Hurt is right, it could start filming in autumn next year. We’ll let you know when we hear more casting and production news.